UK Tarot Conference 2019—Program Announced!

January 22, 2019 | Filed Under Classes, Workshops, Conferences | No Comments

I can finally announce this publicly! I will be one of the speakers at the UK Tarot Conference in London, October 11 – 12, 2019!

The amazing speaker roster features Mary K. Greer, Caitlin Matthews, Katrina Wynne, Avril Price, Richard Abbot—and me!

This year’s theme is “The Tower”, as it’s the 16th year of the conference.

My presentation will be “Your Friend, The Tower—It’s Tower-iffic!” When the Tower card turns up in a reading, most people are not happy to see it. The prospect of destruction isn’t a fun thing to contemplate, but like all Tarot cards, the Tower has more than one aspect. We’ll look at the Tower to see it could possibly be seen as a positive indicator in a reading, using a spread I created specifically to work with this challenging—and exciting!—card.

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Poem: Boats In Fog ~ Robinson Jeffers

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Boats In Fog
~ Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter earnestness
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.
A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone’s throw out, between the rocks and the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each other
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient and
cautious,
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.

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Today, I . . . Made It Through the Day

January 21, 2019 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

Reminding myself of this today, because today has not been a day of productivity, positivity or self-control.

Well, I did manage not to yell at anyone, and I made it through the day without bursting into flame, so yay for self-control! go me!

I had my day planned out, and was going to do So Many Things! and be efficient! and focused! and check off this and that and other things from the to-do list!

Some days, your body decides you aren’t going to do anything because it is tired/sick/just generally out of order.

Some days, the software company you need tech support from manages NOT to do their job in a breathtaking failure of basic reading comprehension, and you cannot do a damn thing until this problem is solved.

Some days, there’s no one big thing that’s wrong, but enough things aren’t right that nothing is working, and you wonder if you’ve fallen into a variant on the THX-1138 universe.

Some days, you get through the day more or less in one piece, and some days, that’s enough.

Sleep well, sweet dreams, and let’s try this again tomorrow.

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The Value of Fiber Arts

January 8, 2019 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

Fiber arts can be any or all of these: practical skill, creative expression, personal therapy, a form of action, a way to make money.

Almost any movie set before the twentieth century shows a woman or group of women diligently working away at some sort of fiber art project—usually embroidery or cross-stitch, as those are among the easiest to create in terms of props for the set (as opposed to, say, a full-size floor loom).

The popularity of fiber arts waxes and wanes in contemporary culture. I know a number of women (and some men) who regularly practice at least two kinds of craft. Of course, I also know a number of people who are into historical re-creation, and there is significant overlap in these two groups. The Historic Hand Embroidery group on Facebook showcases some spectacular work by incredibly talented people.

The past few years, however, I have seen more of my friends and acquaintances take up various crafts as a means of personal and/or political expression. Aided by guides such as Julie Jackson’s “Subversive Cross Stitch“, even the complete beginner can find their way quickly into the joy of creating personal crafts to express their political and personal philosophies. Groups such as the Mildly Offensive Fiber Artists (MOFAs, as they call themselves) share their work, their patterns, and their tips gladly and gleefully.

I engage in several crafty delights: sewing (which is often aerobic, given the amount of swearing involved); embroidery (I use printed patterns, because life is too short to count threads); and weaving, because it’s fascinating, and also it’s part of my devotional work. Two of my favorite pieces are the embroidered cloth I created for my Sigyn altar

 

and the rune casting cloth I wove for my reading table:

The Completed Piece

With all three crafts (even sewing—there comes a point where it all starts flowing, and the swearing dwindles to near zero), I am able to enter a meditative state that is highly therapeutic. Focusing only on the object in front of me, concentrating solely on the movement of thread through fabric, or yarn through warp, is a wonderful moving meditation. And, at the end of it, you have A New Thing that you can keep, or give as a present, or sell. It’s a wonderful way to close out the world and clear my mind, and I have a cool thing to show for my time and effort.

There’s also the practical aspect of being able to repair or improve something—mend a pillowcase, re-attach a button (or replace boring buttons with beautiful or fun ones), hem a garment, customize a store-bought blanket with your own work—that makes life easier, more beautiful, and/or less expensive.

Fiber arts can fill many needs, both practical and intangible, and bring peace and quiet to your day.

Make of them what you will—make them yours.

Sources:

E. Tammy Kim: The Feminist Power of Embroidery

Kase Wickman: How Feminist Cross Stitching Became a Tool of the Resistance

Natalie Zarelli: The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool

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A Blessing for the New Year

December 31, 2018 | Filed Under Devotions, Things I Think About | No Comments

In the new year,

May you experience joy and contentment each day, regardless of the events of the day.

May you live each day in abundance and comfort.

May you learn your lessons through love and kindness.

May you be able to give with an open hand, and receive with an open heart.

May each day hold something that becomes a treasured memory.

May each morning find you rested, and each midnight find you at rest.

May the year be filled with love, joy, health, and delight!

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